3:30 p.m. — Gates open to the public
4:30-4:50 — Falcons and Titans special-teams work on the football field
5-5:15 — Falcons warm up on the football field; Titans warm up on the baseball field
5:15-6:15 — Falcons offense vs. Titans defense on the football field; Titans offense vs. Falcons Defense on the baseball field
6:25-7 — Titans offense vs. Falcons defense on the football field; Falcons offense vs. Titans defense on the baseball field.
There is no charge for admission or to park. The public is required to park at either Prater's Mill, adjacent to the school on Highway 2, or at Edwards Park on Cleveland Highway. A free shuttle will operate from each lot. The parking lots will open at 2:30. Persons with handicap parking permits will be allowed to park at Coahulla Creek.
Concession stands will be open at the football and baseball fields, and all proceeds will benefit Whitfield County high school athletic programs. There also will be reduced-price tickets on sale to four Falcons' home games.
WHAT YOU'LL SEE
Team officials say the complete rosters will be there, so game organizers are expecting Falcons stars Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez to go against Titans standouts Chris Johnson and Michael Griffin.
The teams will work on the football and baseball fields, which are adjacent. There are plenty of seats at the football stadium and a limited number at the baseball venue. However, the baseball field has an excellent area for chairs and the fences will allow for up-close viewing.
WHERE TO GO
Coahulla Creek High School
3361 Crow Rd
Dalton, GA 30721
Parking (2 sites)
Prater's Mill parking area
5845 Highway 2, Dalton, GA 30721
Edwards Park parking area
3508 Cleveland Highway, Dalton, GA 30721
Falcons players will sign autographs following the practice along the fence of the football field. The Titans have not scheduled an autograph session.
According to Northwest Whitfield coach Josh Robinson, "This is a Falcons event, so we're not sure if the Titans are going to stick around or not. We hope they do, but we have been told the Falcons will sign."
VARNELL, Ga. — The way Whitfield County Schools' spokesman Eric Beavers sees it, Monday's Atlanta Falcons-Tennessee Titans combined practice at Coahulla Creek High School will spread a lot of benefits.
While the two NFL teams get to hit somebody in a different uniform for the first time in training camp and fans of the two teams get to see the players up close, the three county high schools will get a boost they weren't counting on. While admission and parking for the event are free, concession sales Monday will be split among the Coahulla Creek, Northwest Whitfield and Southeast Whitfield athletic booster clubs.
"Hosting the Falcons and Titans is going to give our high school athletic boosters a great start to the new school year, which begins Thursday," Beavers said. "The NFL matchup will provide a day of great family fun and bring a lot of new visitors to Whitfield County."
The teams will work out against each other on the football and baseball fields, which should give fans ample viewing room. Northwest football coach Josh Robinson said he's gotten a lot of positive feedback from fans, though some were caught off guard on the timing.
"We've had some folks who thought it was going to be held on the weekend, but Monday is a normal work day for the teams," he said. "It does start before some people get off work, but it goes on until 7 so everyone should be able to come out and see some of the NFL's best."
The Falcons are hosting the practice, which starts with special-teams drills at 4:30, and are making sure to leave their imprint on the area. The Atlanta team is donating signed memorabilia to each of the three schools, which will raffle them off during the upcoming season to help raise funds. The team also will be signing autographs following the practice and offering tickets for discount sale to some 2012 games.
"That's something we're very excited about," Robinson said. "The Falcons have released four games to us that we can sell tickets to — the Cardinals, Raiders, Panthers and Buccaneers — and a portion of the ticket sales will go into the booster-club fund for our schools. The great thing is they are priced less than what you can buy them for online.
"So come watch some NFL football, get an autograph, have something to eat and even get a ticket to a future game. It's going to be a lot of fun."
There has been some interest in making the practice between the two teams an annual event, though the location likely would alternate between Georgia and Tennessee locations.
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...
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